Are mega-events a solution to address physical inactivity? Interrogating the London 2012 Paralympic sport participation legacies among people with disabilities
Brown, Dr Christopher
Pappous, Athanasios (Sakis)
Understanding why non-active people with disabilities have not participated in more sport since the London 2012 Paralympic Games is the focus of this paper. This research reviews the constraints preventing people with disabilities from participating in more sport, and the role the London 2012 Paralympic Games plays in this. Eighty-one people with disabilities in England who are non-active completed an online questionnaire exploring their constraints to participating in more sport. The data suggests attitudes towards the London 2012 Paralympic Games were not an important reason for the lack of sport participation: instead, systemic and social barriers are more constraining to participation in more sport. A factor analysis identified four components that constrain non-active people with disabilities: sport provision; economic; unawareness of how to include people with disabilities in sporting activities; and access to sport participation opportunities. The four components explained 72.93% of the total variance. It is recommended mega sporting events are not used as a policy intervention to increase sport participation of people with disabilities, as this does not account for constraining social and systemic barriers to sports participation. Instead, bottom-up solutions designed and managed in conjunction with people with disabilities may be more effective.